First aid in the face of heat stroke: what to do and how to act

The heatstroke, which is usually confused with a insolation, appears when our body gets too hot and is not able to self-cool, maintaining a low temperature and thereby counteracting the high temperature of our body.

Medically it is known by the name of hyperthermia, although it is more usual that most people know it precisely with the name of heat stroke - or sunstroke -.

Explained medically, we are facing an increase in temperature above the normal hypothalamic value, caused mainly by a failure of the systems of heat evacuation of our organism.

That is, due especially to the existence of a very high outside temperature, our body is not able to self-cool. Hence, it is a fairly common problem in the summer months, although there are other causes that may cause its appearance not only during the summer months, but ultimately, at any time of the year (fever, muscle strain or malignant hyperthermia).

What are the symptoms that appear to know if a person is suffering a heat stroke?

Since the first aid that they are carried out in the affected person are fundamental (since we find a serious medical emergency that can lead to death), it is very important to know its main symptoms:

  • Sweat in excess.
  • Tachycardia and difficulty breathing normally.
  • The skin when touched is very hot, and becomes dry.
  • Dizziness and nausea with the possibility of vomiting.
  • Muscular weakness.

Before the appearance of any symptom or signal that may indicate that the person is suffering possibly heatstroke should begin with the first aid maneuvers, to prevent it from going over. The main problem is that, if not treated quickly, it can have a series of serious complications, being able to cause some kind of permanent disability, or in more serious cases, lead to death.

How to act before a heat stroke?

It is essential to try to lower the body temperature of the person, so it is important:

  1. Take the person quickly to the shade, in a cool, well-ventilated place, and place him / her in the supine semi-sitting position.
  2. Remove all unnecessary clothing when. In case of being near a fan or air conditioning, it is advisable to move it to a nearby area.
  3. Abanícala with cold air.
  4. Wet your skin with cold water.
  5. Apply compresses of cold water on the head.
  6. Give water to drink in small sips.
  7. Immerse the person in a bathtub with ice water.
  8. Use a fan directed towards the person.

On the other hand, if the person has a temperature above 40 ° C it is essential to bathe with cold water, until the body temperature is reduced and lower to 38 ° C. From this moment, it is convenient to stop applying cold, to avoid the risk of hypothermia.

In addition, it is essential to control the temperature every certain time, for example, every four hours (15 minutes). In this way, if we observe and confirm that the body temperature has risen again, repeat the cold treatment again.

And how can we prevent sunstroke?

Remember that when it comes to prevent sunstroke, It's fundamental:

  • Avoid physical activity when there is a lot of heat.
  • Use light clothing and always light colors.
  • Stay in well-ventilated spaces.
  • Avoid large meals.
  • Drink a lot of liquid.
  • Use hat or cap.

In addition, it is advisable to avoid alcoholic beverages on the hottest days, since they tend to increase the metabolism and therefore also the temperature of our body. The same goes for the exciting ones.

Images of Istockphoto. This article is published for informational purposes only. It can not and should not replace the consultation with a Physician. We advise you to consult your Trusted Doctor. ThemesSummer

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